Circulating enterolactone and risk of endometrial cancer Academic Article uri icon

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  • It has been suggested that phytoestrogens protect against hormone-dependent cancers. Lignans are the main class of phytoestrogens in Western diets. We conducted a prospective study of endometrial cancer and circulating levels of the main human lignan, enterolactone. The design was a case-control study nested within 3 prospective cohort studies, in New York, Sweden and Italy. Serum or plasma samples had been collected at enrollment and stored at -80 degrees C. A total of 153 cases, diagnosed a median of 5.3 years after blood donation, and 271 matched controls were included. No difference in circulating enterolactone was observed between cases (median, 19.2 nmol/L) and controls (18.5 nmol/L). Adjusting for body mass index, the odds ratio for the top tertile of enterolactone, as compared to the lowest was 1.2 (95% CI, 0.7-2.0; p for trend = 0.53). Lack of association was observed in both pre- and postmenopausal women. No correlation was observed between enterolactone and circulating estrogens or SHBG in healthy postmenopausal women. These results do not support a protective role of circulating lignans, in the range of levels observed, against endometrial cancer.


  • Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne
  • Lundin, Eva
  • Micheli, Andrea
  • Koenig, Karen L
  • Lenner, Per
  • Muti, Paola
  • Shore, Roy E
  • Johansson, Ingegerd
  • Krogh, Vittorio
  • Lukanova, Annekatrin
  • Stattin, Pär
  • Afanasyeva, Yelena
  • Rinaldi, Sabina
  • Arslan, Alan A
  • Kaaks, Rudolf
  • Berrino, Franco
  • Hallmans, Göran
  • Toniolo, Paolo
  • Adlercreutz, Herman

publication date

  • November 15, 2006